Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 August 2011
When considering the matter of debts owed by one sovereign nation-state to other entities, the inclusion of more than only payments contractually obligated for remittance to other autonomous states must be acknowledged. Indubitably, debts that are owed include these contractual commitments entered into with other states; however, they also encompass potential remittances associated with obligations that arise from the failure to meet the legal duties of commercial undertakings or general civil responsibilities – whether the contractual commitments, commercial obligations, or civil responsibilities involve governmental actors or private parties. That is, a nation-state may have borrowed money from a foreign nation and be contractually obligated to make payments of principal and interest to the lender; or it may have entered into a commercial arrangement with a foreign nation or private entity to purchase goods or secure certain services; or it may have faced and breached a specific duty or behavior owed to such nation or entity and thus be indebted to make payment for its commercial undertaking or civil infraction. The government of Iraq has debts owed to others that involve each of these forms of obligation.
This book, however, does not include an examination of Iraqi debts that may have arisen from civil infractions involving individuals subjected to mistreatment by Iraqis operating under color of governmental authority.